Todd is an Assistant Professor of Journalism and Media Studies and his research focuses on the intersection of new media, contemporary social movements and globalization. An anthropologist by training, his research is a mixture of traditional and cyber-based ethnography and has been supported by the Social Science Research Council and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.
Todd believes in the importance of engaged scholarship that leads to tangible action in the world and to that end he is a co-founder of the Media Mobilizing Project (MMP) based in Philadelphia. MMP's aim is to utilize new media and communications to build a movement of poor and working people, united across color lines. His research and work in the community has been supported by the Knight Foundation, Media and Democracy Coalition and Media Democracy Fund amongst others.
The aim of my research is to describe, analyze and historicize contemporary social movements as they intersect with global capitalism and new information and communication technologies. My current project, based on three years of ethnographic research is The Cyber Left: Indymedia and the Making of Twenty-first Century Struggle
This manuscript looks at the birth and development of the indymedia movement. My overall argument is that indymedia is exemplar of a new stage in social movements keyed to globalizing capitalism and dependent on new information and communication technologies. I call this new formation the Cyber Left, putting it in the context of the Old Left and New Left.
“Communications Networks, Movements and the Neoliberal City: The Media Mobilizing Project in Philadelphia" Transforming Anthropology 19(2): 187-201, September 2011. (Co-authored with Peter Funke and Dan Berger).
“Constitutive Communications and the Shimmering Project of the Multitude,” Journal of Communication Inquiry. Volume 35 (4): 370-377, July 2011.
“Suturing Working Class Subjectivities: Media Mobilizing Project and the role of Media in Building a Class-Based Social Movement” Cognition, Communication and Cooperation. 10(1): 16-29, January 2012. (Co-authored with Peter Funke and Chris Robe).
“From the Zapatistas to Indymedia: Dialectics and Orthodoxy in Contemporary Social Movements” Communication Culture and Critique 5(2012) 149-170.
“Democracy and Decentralization: The Case of Indymedia” Global Networks (Forthcoming)
“Class In-Formation: The Intersection of Old and New Media in Contemporary Urban Social Movements” Social Movement Studies, (Under Review) (Co-authored with Peter Funke)
“Communications and Class Formation: Building a Contemporary Rubric” Communication Theory (Under Review). (Co-authored with Peter Funke)
“Rewiring the Apparatus: Psychoanalytic Film Theory, Media Activism and Working-Class Subjectivities” Frameworks (Under Review) (Co-authored with Chris Robe and Peter Funke)
“Poverty, Inequality, and the Social and Political Effects of the Digital Divide” (Report for the New Jersey Office of Information Technology) (Co-authored with Amy Bach)
"Activist Laboratories of the 1990s: The Roots of Technological Determinism in Contemporary Social Movements" in Theorizing Production, Producing Theory. ed. John Jackson. New York: Routledge
“Annihilation of Space by Media: Making Connections through a Fragmented Neoliberal Landscape” in The Fight to Stay Put: Social Lessons through Media Imaginings of Gentrification, Displacement and Resistance. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag (forthcoming). (Co-authored with Rachel Goffe)
ARTICLES IN PREPARATION
“Cyber Left: Communication Practices and the Shifting Face of Social Movements” (To be submitted to Public Culture)
“Towards a Concept of Digital Human Capital” (Co-authored with Gwen Shaffer and Amy Bach)
“Of Peasants and Proletarians: History, Communications and Contemporary Class Formation” (To be submitted to Public Culture). (Co-authored with Peter Funke)
BOOKS IN PROGRESS
The Cyber Left: Indymedia and the Making of 21st Century Struggle, in preparation, invited as part of Expertise: Cultures and Technologies of Knowledge, Dominic Boyer (series editor), Cornell University Press
Social Movements in the Twenty-First Century: Class, Party and Technology. Edited volume, in preparation (Co-edited with Peter Funke)
BOOK CHAPTERS IN PROGRESS
“Nervous Systems: Neoliberal Capitalism and The Cultural Logic of Resistance” in Power, Rhetoric and Political Culture: The Texture of the Political, eds. Ralph Cintron and Robert Harriman. Berghahn Books
OTHER MEDIA PRODUCTION
Producer, Understanding Our Struggles, Changing Our Conditions: A Poverty Tour Documentary, 50-minute video (Non-fiction). Completed. Aired nationally on Public Broadcasting Station, Tavis Smiley Show, Week October 10-14 2011.